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Day 5:

As I write, my pulse slowly returns to its tranquil pace, and I carefully fill my canteen with decaf. I do not believe the herd noticed my presence, but it is difficult to fathom these graceful creatures, or know how keen their senses truly are.

It had been two days with few visitors to the break room. The office ecosystem has many great and small cycles--the great rhythm of the year, with its surges of industry so closely tied to the solstice and equinox, the lesser cycles of pay period to pay period and week to week. The herd journeyed to further fields over the last few days, but they return with the sun today, worn from their journey, as they do every week--save for the female I call Sasha, who has been my only visitor these two lean days. Soon I shall follow her on her strange, lonely vigil in these dark, empty halls--but I get ahead of myself.

The breakroom had stood empty, save for faithful Sasha, for two days. The dawn of the new day and the smell of new coffee woke me from my thoughts, and I heard the unmistakable sound of a struggle for food in the hall, but I could not see the source of the struggle. I cautiously crept from my enclosure--while these are not gentle creatures, I do not believe that they would cause me any injury if they noticed my tresspass, they would almost certainly defend their territory with a sharply worded memorandum.

The herd had gathered in an executive meeting room, a cavernous gathering place with a small antechamber for the microwave and beverage-sized napkins--therein, I hid myself. While I have not yet met the herd in its entirety, only the most reclusive and hostile members avoid the communal break room. There were two creatures I had never seen before--the first was an elderly female, silver-haired but with the status of management visible in her navy and cream markings. The other was a younger female, her coat unkempt and plain, clearly lower in the hierarchy than Wakila or even Sasha, but she was a new arrival from the downstairs Information Technology clan, and the others gave her respect beyond her years.

Sasha kept the younger members of the herd at bay while the upper management greeted these new females, prominently displaying their business cards. I had believed that the bagels and cream cheese were brought as an offering of food to these new arrivals, as both of them in ways large and small seemed to be powerful, dominant creatures. But when the appropriate social rituals had been fulfilled, Sasha stepped aside and the younger members of the herd ate their fill while the dominant females watched.

I have returned to my enclosure, the vulnerability of the hallway behind me. I will call the older female Sophia and the younger one Tatter. These creatures continue to surprise and delight.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
guardian_lm
May. 11th, 2004 08:17 am (UTC)
Well done :)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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